Mel Gibson (Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

It’s been 10 years since Mel Gibson’s last directorial project and, not coincidentally, 10 years since his first foray into a side career of amateur recording. Beginning with a breakout debut in which he told his “Sugartits” of an arresting officer that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” Gibson’s discography soon required its own bootleg guide just to keep track of it all—like Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes, if Dylan had openly fantasized about black people raping his pig of a girlfriend. But that was way back in the cruder era of 2006-2012, and Gibson is now a much different person, having long ago given up the demon alcohol that makes everyone a little bit racist, violent, and given to Zionist conspiracy.

These days, Gibson’s comeback movie Hacksaw Ridge is getting good early reviews, and it’s even netted him a Hollywood Director Award—and perhaps more important than whatever that is, it’s also earning him headlines like “Mel Gibson Back In Hollywood’s Good Graces” and “Pariah No More?” So it seems Gibson has been forgiven, tentative question mark? And according to Gibson’s new interview on Variety’s Playback podcast, it’s about time, considering it wasn’t really a big deal to begin with, and also it was totally unfair that everyone found out about it and that no one was even arrested for that leak in the first place:

“It was an unfortunate incident,” Gibson said on “Playback” when asked about the fact that there are many who feel they can no longer support him or his work. “I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”

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“I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation,” continued the actor, who also came under fire for making homophobic remarks in a 1991 interview; was accused by Winona Ryder of calling her an “oven-dodger” in 2001, while also making homophobic jokes about her friend; was condemned in 2004 by the Anti-Defamation League for his anti-Semitic depictions in The Passion Of The Christ—critiques he responded to by, among other things, threatening to kill New York Times critic Frank Rich and put his “intestines on a stick;” was recorded in 2010 making derogatory remarks about “wetbacks” and “n***ers;” and, most recently, was accused in 2012 via a lengthy letter from screenwriter Joe Eszterhas of sabotaging their planned film about the Maccabees because he “hates Jews,” as well as of making many extremely racist remarks in Eszterhas’ presence, all following yet another leaked recording of Gibson screaming about “cocksuckers” and smashing things in front of Eszterhas’ 15-year-old son (who was similarly never prosecuted for his crime).

“And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair,” Gibson continued.

From Gibson’s perspective, to reduce his entire life story to just this one, fleeting, two-decade nervous breakdown of hateful remarks, death threats, acts of domestic violence, and multiple recordings in which he hurls invective at the mother of his child and bellows that he’s being unfairly persecuted by entire races of people—and even God himself—is to ignore who he really is. The real Mel Gibson, the one that can only be captured when the recorders are on and he’s made aware of it.

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“Imagine the worst moment you ever had being recorded and broadcast to the world,” Gibson recently told an Australian TV station, without being specific.

Besides, Gibson reminds, it was all a long time ago, when he was a young and angry man of 35 to 50, and he finds being reminded of his irritable past very irritating. “Ten years have gone by,” Gibson says. “I’m feeling good. I’m sober, all of that kind of stuff, and for me it’s a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue. Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there’d be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been.”

As of press time, there is approximately 25 years’ worth of evidence of Mel Gibson being some kind of hater in print, on various audio recordings, in major motion pictures, across the whole of the internet, and we also have some on microfiche.

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